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Rust bubbles #5359945 02/25/20 05:27 PM
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WA1DH Offline OP
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I've got three small areas of bubbled paint above the windshield. I'm guessing it is from rock chips that weren't repaired. I soaked them with PB blaster for now to try to stop it from spreading, but I'm wondering if anyone has repaired this before. It doesn't look like it extends down to the windshield seal. I'm wondering if I should try to sand it down by hand and use touch up paint, or if it would be worth letting a body shop take a took at it:
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20200225_164205.jpg20200225_164225.jpg

1995 GMC K1500 5.0 V8 149k mi
1999 Ford Escort 2.0 I4 249k mi
Re: Rust bubbles [Re: WA1DH] #5359961 02/25/20 05:43 PM
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samven Offline
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If you like the car let a body shop take care of it. There is probably rust under the paint that has not shown up yet and if it gets to the seal you may end up with a leak that will cost much more to correct. If its just a beater commuter you can try sanding it down and use a rust encapsulator as a primer and cover with touch up paint. But go a bit beyond what you see as the rust will creep under the paint once a chip happens.

Re: Rust bubbles [Re: WA1DH] #5359985 02/25/20 06:11 PM
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mez Online Content
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Not sure I exactly can see where that the rust is on the car. Was your windshield replaced? if so it's from the company that changed it scraped the paint removing it. Its probably going to effect the entire parameter of the windshield at some point. Happened to my son's car.


2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL
Re: Rust bubbles [Re: WA1DH] #5359989 02/25/20 06:12 PM
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Donald Offline
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I would try and sand it down and see how deep the rust is.

Unlike rust around a fender where the rust comes from behind, this is rust on the surface.

Was windshield replaced? Maybe a tool slipped scrapping off the gasket & glue.


2015 Ford F-250 w/Powerstroke
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Re: Rust bubbles [Re: WA1DH] #5360001 02/25/20 06:28 PM
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WA1DH Offline OP
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No idea if the windshield has been replaced. It's a Pilkington windshield on a 2013 Impala LTZ. I just bought the car and the rest of it is very clean including the undercarriage. I'm going to start Fluid Film undercoating this year. I actually hadn't noticed those small spots over the windshield until I was doing an oil change today. I'm hoping to keep the car for a while so I want to fix it before it gets any worse.

I might get a quote on it and then attack it with a dremel and touch up paint if it's too expensive.


1995 GMC K1500 5.0 V8 149k mi
1999 Ford Escort 2.0 I4 249k mi
Re: Rust bubbles [Re: WA1DH] #5360028 02/25/20 06:54 PM
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yup, it's from stone chips.
You can see the brown spot near the glass where the stone broke the paint away from the panel.


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Re: Rust bubbles [Re: WA1DH] #5360034 02/25/20 07:05 PM
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Dave9 Offline
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It's usually relatively simple to sand it down and repaint, unless the rust has made it through and leaves a hole. Getting the (metallic?) paint to match is not so simple, but if you are less picky than the large cost difference to have a shop do it, it's worth DIY. You can always DIY then if it doesn't match well, have the shop paint it later. Main thing is, don't let it keep growing.

Last edited by Dave9; 02/25/20 07:08 PM.
Re: Rust bubbles [Re: WA1DH] #5360171 02/25/20 09:03 PM
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JTK Offline
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Problem is, without pulling the w/s, you don't know the full extent of the corrosion.

I forget if it was here or over at a Ram board I frequent, but an owner of a fairly new Ram 1500 has the same thing going on and lives in the rust belt. I'm not sure he could get a body shop to even give him a 'we don't want the job' estimate for repair.

Last edited by JTK; 02/25/20 09:08 PM.

2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV
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Re: Rust bubbles [Re: JTK] #5360215 02/25/20 09:41 PM
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spasm3 Online Happy
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There is always more rust that what you see. Its under the paint and bubbling up, I'm betting its rusted its way under the seal. To fix it right, the windshield must come out and the area from the windshield seal examined, clean and rust inhibited, and repair painted, then reinstall the windshield.

You can clean, sand and touch up, but it will most likely come back.

Last edited by spasm3; 02/25/20 09:42 PM.

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Re: Rust bubbles [Re: WA1DH] #5360301 02/26/20 01:19 AM
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Fitz98 Offline
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I just had this situation on the roof of my 03 Suburban under the roof rack supports. Started grinding the bubbling paint away and some areas were just surface pitted rust and the worse areas were through the metal.
Comparing your pictures to my repair, I would estimate you have some flaking rust under the paint and once that was removed and ground down, you would be left with treatable surface rust pits. I did a disk grinding and wire wheel to remove majority of rust, Ospho to neutralize the rust pits, then neutralized the Ospho and used epoxy paste to fill the pits. The cosmetic part of the repair is a work in progress.
My advice is whichever direction you choose to go, get it dealt with sooner than later, or it will eat a hole through your roof and spread and as others have suggested, will creep into the windshield area, both of which which will be harder to repair.

Re: Rust bubbles [Re: Fitz98] #5360739 02/26/20 03:14 PM
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JTK Offline
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Originally Posted by Fitz98
... whichever direction you choose to go, get it dealt with sooner than later, or it will eat a hole through your roof and spread and as others have suggested, will creep into the windshield area, both of which which will be harder to repair.


IIRC, that's what happened with the Ram I mentioned a few posts above. A small hole had formed and the fella couldn't find a body shop that wanted to touch it at that point.

Last edited by JTK; 02/26/20 03:14 PM.

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Re: Rust bubbles [Re: WA1DH] #5360985 02/26/20 08:40 PM
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WA1DH Offline OP
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I think I'm going to try the DIY route. I pulled the window seal back and it looks like at least one spot extends down behind the seal. Here's my plan:

Grind as much as I can reach with a small stone on the dremel. I will get back to clean metal as much as possible behind the window seal. I will then treat with Ospho, getting it down behind the seal as well. I will then prime and cover with brush on primer and color matched touch up paint. I'll clear coat and wet sand to blend the best I can. Finally I will fill a small squirt bottle with Fluid Film and begin periodically squirting the Fluid Film down behind the window seal to soak into any rust I couldn't reach.

I'm hoping this will treat the visible rust and stop anything I can't reach from spreading further. I've used Fluid Film on rusted frames before and it does seem to stop further rust as long as I keep everything coated.

I'll be tacking this in another week or so once my touch up paint comes in. Let me know what you guys think.

Thanks again.


1995 GMC K1500 5.0 V8 149k mi
1999 Ford Escort 2.0 I4 249k mi
Re: Rust bubbles [Re: WA1DH] #5362476 02/28/20 02:02 PM
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DweezilAZ Offline
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Originally Posted by WA1DH
I think I'm going to try the DIY route. I pulled the window seal back and it looks like at least one spot extends down behind the seal. Here's my plan:

Grind as much as I can reach with a small stone on the dremel. I will get back to clean metal as much as possible behind the window seal. I will then treat with Ospho, getting it down behind the seal as well. I will then prime and cover with brush on primer and color matched touch up paint. I'll clear coat and wet sand to blend the best I can. Finally I will fill a small squirt bottle with Fluid Film and begin periodically squirting the Fluid Film down behind the window seal to soak into any rust I couldn't reach.

I'm hoping this will treat the visible rust and stop anything I can't reach from spreading further. I've used Fluid Film on rusted frames before and it does seem to stop further rust as long as I keep everything coated.

I'll be tacking this in another week or so once my touch up paint comes in. Let me know what you guys think.

Thanks again.

Did some spots like this on my 86 Olds Calais before it was painted. You're taking the right steps.

I neutralized with vinegar after sanding then used a rust converter before primer and spot painting. Full paint job last summer and it looks fantastic.

Your plan is a good one.

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